To Teach, to Delight, and to Move: Theological Education in a Post-Christian World

Overview

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This book initiates a new conversation about how theological education might be re-envisioned for the twenty-first century church. The prevailing curricular structure in today's seminaries and divinity schools was fashioned in a very different era, one that assumed the continued cultural dominance of Christianity and the continued academic dominance of the canons of Enlightenment reason. Neither assumption is viable in today's ...
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Overview

Description:
This book initiates a new conversation about how theological education might be re-envisioned for the twenty-first century church. The prevailing curricular structure in today's seminaries and divinity schools was fashioned in a very different era, one that assumed the continued cultural dominance of Christianity and the continued academic dominance of the canons of Enlightenment reason. Neither assumption is viable in today's post-Christian world; hence, our new circumstances demand a new vision for theological education.

The authors of this volume offer an important resource for this project through their creative appropriation of the classical rhetorical tradition, particularly as it has been rehabilitated in the contemporary context. Like St. Augustine, they believe that the chief goals of Christian theology are similar to those of classical rhetoric: ""to teach, to delight, and to move."" And the authors are united in their conviction that these must also be the goals of theological education in a post-Christian era.

This volume arises out of a passionate commitment to the cause of theological education. The authors hail from a wide range of denominational traditions and have taught in numerous seminaries and divinity schools. They have also studied the classical and postmodern rhetorical traditions in both theory and practice. They met as a group on numerous occasions to read one another's contributions to the volume and to offer guidance for the process of rewriting. As a result, this book is much more than a mere collection of essays; it is a jointly-authored work, and one which presents an integrated vision for the future of theological education.

Endorsements:
""Questioned by the larger church, marginalized within the Academy, divided internally about its mission, mainline theological education is not well, and most of us in the enterprise know it. In the last twenty years we've seen trenchant, insightful diagnoses, but unfortunately few engaging, feasible remedies. This volume may be an exception. While no sure cure is offered, these essays point in a healthy direction opened up by a rhetorical approach to the tasks and topics of theological education. Ranging from the modest but compelling to the comprehensive but controversial, these essays challenge faculty to rethink the enterprise in ways suited to the 21st century. Timely and telling.""

Mark U. Edwards, Jr., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Harvard Divinity School

""'To Teach, to Delight, and to Move' brilliantly accomplishes the imperatives of its title as it makes bold proposals for reconceiving theological education according to the insights of ancient and contemporary rhetoric. The rich dialogue of its authors over several years has yielded a surprisingly persuasive book. It will be among the handful of books whose reading is required for all those with a passion for better teaching and learning in theological education. It is, however, by no means simply for teachers and administrators of theological schools. All rhetors, pastors and lay persons alike, with responsibility for the gospel's persuasion in the public, postmodern world will readily join this promising symposium.""
M. Douglas Meeks, Cal Turner Chancellor Professor of Theology and Wesleyan Studies, The Divinity School, Vanderbilt University

About the Contributor(s):
David S. Cunningham is Professor of Religion and Director of the CrossRoads Project at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He holds degrees in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, and in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge (England) and Duke University. He has published widely in the areas of Christian theology and ethics, including 'Faithful Persuasion: In Aid of a Rhetoric of Christian Theology' (Notre Dame, 1992) and 'These Three Are One: The Practice of Trinitarian Theology' (Blackwell, 1998). His most recent book, 'Reading is Believing: The Christian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592449866
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Pages: 338
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

David S. Cunningham is Professor of Religion and Director of the CrossRoads Project at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He holds degrees in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, and in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge (England) and Duke University. He has published widely in the areas of Christian theology and ethics, including 'Faithful Persuasion: In Aid of a Rhetoric of Christian Theology' (Notre Dame, 1992) and 'These Three Are One: The Practice of Trinitarian Theology' (Blackwell, 1998). His most recent book, 'Reading is Believing: The Christian Faith Through Literature and Film' (Brazos, 2002) explores the central beliefs of Christianity through novels, plays, short stories, and films.

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